Higher channels

December 24, 1999

John Davies continues his fortnight of broadcasting highlights.

FRIDAY December 31

The Unfinished Symphony (6.00am onwards, R3). "2,000 Years of Music in a Day". Performance and reflections on time by John Drinkwater in "A Stitch in Time" (8.30); discussion on the past and future of music in "Hear and Now" (10.35); and a radio montage in "The Future of Music: Credo" (11.30).

AD 1000 (7.00 C4). Life in Anglo-Saxon Britain.

Bug Watch Special (7.05 World Service, also January 1 at 9.20am). Two live programmes ask people round the world if their computers are coping with the year 2000's arrival.

Unrecognisable Accounts of the 20th Century (9.00 R4). Oral historian Alan Dein collects a variety of experiences from ordinary people.

Art of Darkness (10.00 R4). The cave painters of the Ice Age.

Shaping Things to Come (10.30 R4). Lisa Jardine, Stephen Tumim, John Carey and others explore the ideas of Thomas More.

SATURDAY JANUARY 1

The Greatest Wildlife Show on Earth (5.00 BBC1); Natural History Night (6.00 BBC2). David Attenborough with, first, an hour of spectacular wildlife sights from all over the world; then an evening of nature films and conversation with wildlife camera people.

Changing Shape of Britain (7.00 R5). How will Britain cope with rising sea levels? A report from our threatened coastlines.

1900 UK (7.30 C4). The last year of the 19th century recalled, with surviving eye witnesses and recently discovered film footage.

Killing Time: The Millennium Poem (8.30 C4). Film based on Simon Armitage's 1,000-line poem, broadcast on R3 before Christmas.

SUNDAY JANUARY 2

Sunday Feature: The President's Pen (5.45 R3). Vaclav Havel's writing and political activity.

Time Team on the Line (6.30 C4). An archaeological dig at a former Arab port near Benidorm, close to the Greenwich Meridian.

Trial of the 21st Century (7.35 C4). What will the 21st century be like? Optimists versus pessimists in a courtroom format.

Longitude (8.00 C4). Adapted and directed by Charles (Brideshead Revisited) Sturridge. Based on Dava Sobel's book,.

Everywoman: Cuban Roots (12.30am World Service; repeated January 4, 3.30). Exile Lulu Garcia-Navarro revisits Cuba.

MONDAY January 3

The Oldest Tree on Earth (7.30 C4). It is 4,600 years old, it is in California and scientists are still studying it.

Costing the Earth (9.00 R4). Is organic food doing us more harm than good?

TUESDAY January 4

The Art of Rhetoric (3.45 R4, also Wednesday, Thursday and Friday). Simon Hoggart's four-parter on forms of persuasion.

The Bitter Pill (8.00 R4). Isabel Hilton investigates whether multinationals ignore the needs of less developed countries.

Life and Death in the 21st Century (8.00 BBC2). Start of a Horizon trilogy on developments in human biology. This programme looks at research on the ageing process; Wednesday's focuses on future plagues; and Thursday's on genetic engineering.

WEDNESDAY January 5

Predictions: The Future of Genetics (8.50 BBC2). With Robin Baker, Jane Rogers and Michio Kaku.

Origins: The Genesis Factor (9.00 R4). Paul Davies on our beginnings.

THURSDAY January 6

The Material World (4.30 R4). Sticky proteins, with Professors John Findlay and Tony North.

Ancient Voices: In search of the Aztecs (9.30 BBC2). Tony Spawforth looks at archaeological evidence, plus virtual-reality reconstructions of this sophisticated society.

Season's greetings from John Davies.

Email: Davieses@aol.com. For a fuller guide, visit The THES website at www.thesis.co.uk

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